Things of Beauty: Reverend Simon Godfrey welcomes us into the Chancellor's Lodge

15th April 2017 – Jo Caruana

In the second instalment of our property special, the Reverend Simon Godfrey, Canon of the St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta, shows us around the adjacent Chancellor’s Lodge, where he has lived for nine years. His favourite space is his office, which is located in the historic spire. He has filled it with items that reflect his passions – art, history, literature and, of course, religion.

"This house was built in 1927 as an apartment for the Chancellor. When I moved in, I quickly chose the spire (then the library) to be my study; today I keep my books and many of my favourite things here. The original spire was part of the Cathedral designs drawn up by architect Richard Lankershire, but it collapsed and was later rebuilt. Today the whole Cathedral is in a bit of a precarious state so we’re currently working to raise €3 million to refurbish it, including €1 million specifically for the tower and spire.

"I sleep in the spire too! Well, in its basement. This bed is a favourite piece of mine, and it dates back to the period known as William IV, who was King of England at the time. This bed is appropriate because it was his wife, Queen Adelaide, who commissioned the building of the Cathedral here, and paid for it too. I bought this bed from an antiques dealer in Northamptonshire in 1980.

"To mark my 25th anniversary since joining the priesthood, my parishioners at the time gave me two very special gifts, and this is one of them – a statue of the Virgin Mary that dates back to 17th-century Burgundy. It’s very unusual to see a statue of Mary not holding baby Jesus, which hints she may have been part of a pair.

"I absolutely love hats, and these are a few from my collection. My favourite is the one on the left – it’s a clergyman’s tri-corn dating back to the 18th century. It originally belonged to the famous hymn writer Rev HF Lyte, who wrote Abide With Me. I bought it when it came up for sale many years after his death. As for the soldier action figure, he was given to me by a friend as a bit of fun when I joined the territorial army.

"This naval sword was given to me when I joined the navy in the 1970s. Back then it was tradition for your parents to buy you a sword of this sort on graduation, but mine bought me some uniforms instead, so this was given to me by a friend. It was made in Birmingham, a place well-associated with military weaponry."




16th April 2017 – Iggy Fenech

In the final instalment of our property special, Margit Waas and Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas, who have travelled the world together lecturing at universities around the globe, welcome us into their charming home in Qormi, where they’ve lived for 10 years, following their decision to relocate to the warmest country in Europe.

14th April 2017 – Jo Caruana

In the first of a three-part property special, HE Béatrice Le Fraper Du Hellen, France’s Ambassador to Malta, lets us into the French Embassy’s official residence in Zebbug, which has been her home since January 2015. The décor reflects her jovial approach to life, including her love for interesting conversation, good books and fabulous entertaining.